Everything in life that’s worthwhile is an uphill battle.
This is certainly true in your work. No one starts off knowing all the answers. It’s trial and error, learning new skill sets and tons of practice. Building a successful business is the culmination of all that effort, time, vision and learning from the best.
The road to a rewarding career is paved with the steps of those who have fallen and found a way to get back up. Fortitude makes for a great story so others can heed your sage advice and learn from your mistakes.
Sharing your story does wonders for other people.
Everyone has a story. I am Mark Brodinsky and this is Storytelling for Business.
Storytelling for Business: Servant Leader
For those who have chosen USHEALTH Advisors as a career, many are here for a collective reason, they were looking for a second chance, a shot at doing something meaningful, a place to call home.
For Robert Campbell, it was all of the above and one more important reason, his why, to bring his daughter home. “For more than a year, I waged a legal battle to gain primary custody of my daughter Isabella (Bella),” says Robert. “It was tough and at one point the judge looked at me and said, ‘You’re a general manager of a restaurant. You work 80 hours a week. You won’t even be around to take care of your daughter, your mom will end up doing it.’ “I told him, I’ll quit. He said, ‘you’ll quit?’ “I said yes, I want to see my daughter. I’m not here to only get to be with her every other weekend. I’ve lived that life with my other children, I’m not interested in that. I want her to be with me.”
So Robert stood by his word, fatherhood meant more to him than anything and he quit the restaurant business… “cold turkey’, as he states. Robert says it was a blessing in disguise because he was done with the corporate American lifestyle. He wanted and needed the freedom to live a life that allowed him to be with Bella.
That desire to be with his daughter soon brought Robert to the doorstep of USHA, the day freedom came calling.
“When I quit the restaurant business about five years ago I started writing down what I wanted my job and opportunity to look like,” says Robert. “Then I put my resume out there and companies started calling. Since I live in Houston, a lot of the companies were oil and gas, then there were offers from banks, project management companies, pharmaceutical sales, medical device sales, and then I came across an ad from USHA Division Sales Leader Mark Kahil.” That ad would turn out to be the one that changed Robert’s life.
“Kahil’s recruiter called me,” says Robert. “I went in for the interview, sat through the pitch, then Mark and I talked and I was offered the opportunity to contract with USHEALTH Advisors. Just talking to Mark, I was able to check off everything I had written down: being part of something special, not having a salary but instead uncapped income, and the flexibility and freedom to be there for my 3-year-old daughter, Bella.” That was April 2016 and Robert says he’s never looked back. Fast forward to today and he is now a Satellite Division Sales Leader for USHEALTH Advisors, with more than $15 million in team production.
It’s a great time in Robert’s life, but as with anyone who has traveled the road to success, you can easily take a look back and remember the tough times you had to overcome, the obstacles, the setbacks, the days you wanted to give up. And those are just the days when you were doing the work… what about all the days before? Life is in and of itself a tapestry, woven from the very beginning.
Going back in time, Robert says while early childhood was good, his teen years were tumultuous at best… and they left their mark. “My parents got divorced when I was in the 8th or 9th grade,” says Robert. “My mom had to go back to work while raising four kids by herself and doing it all on the money she could make being a hairstylist. My dad moved away and worked in different towns, while we stayed in Houston to finish school.”
After taking a shot as a walk-on wide receiver for a college football team, a shot that unfortunately didn’t work out, Robert, now age 19, started working in the restaurant industry, a career he would toil in, working 80 to 85 hour weeks for the next 20 years, while his personal life entered a two-decade roller coaster ride.
The ride began with Robert working at Landry’s seafood restaurant in Houston, where he met his first wife.
“I got married at age 20,” says Robert. “We had a daughter, got divorced, ended up getting remarried a few years later and had a son. But then it ended again. The timing was not right and I was working all the time. The toughest part was after the second divorce since I only go to see my kids a few weekends a month. While business was thriving, Robert says he was “dying inside.”
Midway through this 20-year career, Robert turned to his parents for help. Robert says spending all his time managing these places where people came to eat, was literally eating him up inside.
“I got my parents together and let them know I was in a weird spot in my life,” says Robert. “I told them I’ve got the work promotions and the money and the bonuses, but I work all the time, I have no joy or peace in my life. My dad had recently turned his life around, stopped drinking and turned to the bible for help. My mom bought me a bible and put my name on it. I started reading the bible and between that, prayer and more involvement with the church, it wasn’t long before I started to feel joy again.”
“I stopped the things I had been doing which were destroying my life and knew I had to make changes. I soon understood life was not just about working and making money. It’s about changing lives. I don’t work for other leaders, I work for God. I’m not perfect in any way, we all make mistakes, but I’ve got my priorities straight.”
But just a few years after straightening out his life, Robert faced one of life’s greatest challenges, one that tested his faith and his will. “In 2008 I got married again, but after one year of happiness, my new wife was killed in a car accident. I couldn’t understand how this could happen. I had turned my life over to God, and now this? But I soon realized how it brought me even closer to Him, as I had to find the faith to go on. It took about a year, but by then I was a whole lot stronger to deal with anything coming my way. I knew I had to shake the depression to be the best I could be for my kids and the people who relied on me at the restaurant where I managed.”
A few years later Robert married again and that union gave birth to Bella. While the marriage didn’t last, it was the separation that led Robert to fight for custody and to keep Bella living with him most of the time… and eventually inspired him to find a better working situation, as well as financial and lifestyle freedom with USHEALTH Advisors.
It’s now close to a 5-year journey with USHA, and one that nearly began with an early exit because Robert’s biggest fan wasn’t on board with his decision to join the company.
His hero, his mom.
“My mom thought I was the biggest idiot in the world for doing this,” laughs Robert. “I was 40-years-old at the time and she said, ‘this is crazy. It’s a sales commission job. You could make 300 calls a day with no guaranteed income. This is stupid, I can’t believe you are doing this.’ “She was one of my biggest detractors,” says Robert. Yet for most of his life, Robert’s mom had been his biggest supporter, the person he looked up to. As luck would have it, and to help out with her granddaughter, Bella, Robert’s mom ended up moving in with him, just about the time Robert got rolling with USHA.
“By the time my mom moved in with me I was hitting my production milestones with the company,” says Robert. “I could show her the weekly money I was bringing home, some very nice paychecks. By four months in, my mom was one of my biggest fans. And by the fall of 2016, she said, ‘you are doing really well, this is awesome.’ “Pretty soon I got promoted to a Field Training Agent and inherited 15 to 20 people on my team. I brought my mom to some events where my leaders were in attendance and she got to meet and speak with them. She loved it. Every time I come home now she asks how my team is doing. Plus she comes in every weekend to clean and sanitize our new 4,000 square foot office. She thinks this is the best company ever!”
Robert continues, “My daughter Bella is into this as well. I usually try to get home by about 7 pm most nights to be there for her. Bella looks at my sales reports and asks if I sold a policy or recruited anyone today. If I say no, she tells me, ‘you better get that fixed before the end of the week!’ “And even at 9-years-old Bella understands the times I have to work longer hours. Back in the summer, I had to put in extra time before a regional trip I had won and wasn’t back home at my normal time in the evening. I told Bella I was sorry I couldn’t get back earlier, she said, ‘It’s ok dad, I see your vision. You said you want things for me like private school and I know you want to get promoted to a Division Leader. Just like your sign in the office says, success requires sacrifice. I get it.'”
“That girl is my why,” says Robert. All of my kids are, she just happens to spend the most time with me now. Just the way I wanted it.”
It seems these days Robert’s way and his why are in perfect harmony. And they are cemented in many different signs in his satellite division office, including Bella’s favorite banner that reads: REMEMBER YOUR WHY. PLAN AND EFFORT. SUCCESS REQUIRES SACRIFICE.
But Robert says he also knows when it comes to his new agents you can’t want it more for someone then they want it for themselves.
“In this business, we run across people who work really hard and are superstars,” says Robert. “Then there’s the other side of it. In my position now, or even as an agent, if I had certain goals I had them on a vision board at my desk and wanted to attack them all the time. Other people have their pictures up too but don’t work quite as long or as hard for them. That part is hard for me to understand. All we really want to do here is to find people committed to helping other people and then achieve their own goals every day.”
Robert says a day in his life to hit his own goals as a satellite division leader starts early. “I wake up about 5:30 and get a Google alert,” says Robert. “I then read about five to ten articles about health insurance from all across the country. I get ready, make Bella’s lunch and drive her to a school about 40 minutes away. Then I hit the office for a full day. But I plan my day and my week out in advance on Sunday. I know what I need to be doing every 15 minutes. The schedule helps me stay on track. It’s pretty much a 7-day-a week run on the weeks I don’t have Bella and 6-days-a-week when I do.”
Each schedule, each week is like another chapter in the book of his life and Robert says he’d like to write his own book one day.
“I have a couple of quotes or philosophies I live by,” says Robert. “One of them is one I share with my kids all the time which is, work all day, pray all night. The other one is a quote I’d like to make the title of my book, live once, die twice because in my faith we are going to live again beyond this world. But while I’m here my goal is to focus on the one thing I have come to believe in deeply these past few years, and that’s servant leadership. I know our CEO Troy McQuagge talks about what it means to be a servant leader. I fully believe that and more, I tell people, servant leadership is sexy!“
“It’s one thing I talk about all the time. I think that people need to know that and it’s something our world culture and business should focus on. It’s not about the bottom dollar or the numbers. You should be here to become the very best version of yourself, to make yourself whoever you want to be.”
Until next time, thanks for taking the time.
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